Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Democracy & GovernmentNews

Hearings on foreign interference in Canada’s elections

The second phase of the Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions (PIFI) has released its witness list for the public hearings scheduled to begin on March 27th and run until April 10th.

Road Warrior News will work daily during this period to ensure live links to the PIFI are posted and kept current, in case it necessary to replace the link at times. Past Commissions including the Public Order Emergencies Commission have been able to consistently keep the links working fairly well, and RWN has found the links generally function in moving vehicles.

When the PIFI resumes on March 27th, Road Warrior News will post the livestream link daily with this logo and work to update the link if a new one has to be posted. Generally speaking, it has been possible to receive past livestreams in a moving vehicle although links do get dropped at times.
Image: RWN

The Commission is holding its second set of hearings in March to examine and assess interference by China, Russia and other foreign states. The issue of foreign interference in Canada’s elections processes, including riding-level events and leadership races, exploded in the media in 2023 when a whistle blower from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service came forward with alarming information. The whistleblower says that foreign entities including China have been interfering in Canadian elections since the 1980s.

The Commission held its first set of public hearings from January 29 to February 2, 2024 and focused on National Security Confidentiality (NSC).The National Security Confidentiality hearings lasted five days in January. Objectives were to identify the challenges, limitations and potential adverse impacts associated with the disclosure of classified national security information and intelligence to the public. Disclosure of such documents would be called for as PIFI looks at foreign interference in Canadian elections.

Michel Juneau-Katsuya, national security expert Photo: LinkedIn

Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former senior official with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, says China has been asserting influence in Canada since at least the 1980s.

“I want to be very clear. We can prove that every federal government from Mr. Mulroney to Mr. Trudeau (has) been compromised by agents of Communist China. Every government was informed at one point or another. Every government chose to ignore CSIS warnings,” former CSIS agent Michael Juneau-Katsuya told the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs on May 11, 2023.

Juneau-Katsuya suggests the government require MPs to take briefings on foreign interference, and also to confirm they are not under anyone’s influence. He also believes MPs and cabinet ministers should face restrictions on what they can do for foreign states in their post-political life.

Hearings, March 27 to April 3, 2024 (in order of appearance, subject to change)
11- Consultation Panel: Diaspora Communities’ Experiences with Foreign Interference (Names to follow March 27, 2024)
12- Stéphane Perrault
13- Yves Côté 
14- Caroline Simard
15- Mylène Gigou
16- Walied Soliman 
17- Anne McGrath 
18- Azam Ishmael
19- Michael Chan
20- Ted Lojko
21- Han Dong
22- Erin O’Toole
23- Kenny Chiu
24- Jenny Kwan
25- Michael Chong